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I Don’t Understand It! Why Is My Check Engine Light Is On?

When your check engine light turns on, it can be scary because you don’t know why you are receiving this warning. The check engine warning covers many different systems in your automobile, which is why we here at C & C Automotive usually run a diagnostic check to find out the source of the problem. Let’s talk about the reasons why check engine warnings come on in cars, trucks, CUV’s, and SUVs.

ECM/System Sensor Problems

The engine control module (ECM) is what controls the check engine light. It is your automobile’s main computer. System sensors talk with the ECM to report that everything is a-okay with each system. If something goes wrong, they report the error to the ECM and it turns on the check engine light or other applicable dashboard warning. If the ECM or a system sensor is having a problem, your check engine light may come on.

Exhaust System Problems

Your exhaust system can also be a primary culprit behind a check engine light warning. Specifically, common exhaust system parts that generate this dashboard light include the catalytic converter and the oxygen sensor. The catalytic converter is responsible for controlling carbon monoxide, and the oxygen sensor is responsible for monitoring the exhaust oxygen content.

Fuel System Problems

If either of these exhaust system parts is malfunctioning, or if you have a malfunctioning mass airflow sensor, your fuel/air mix will be off in the combustion chamber and this can cause a check engine warning. Other fuel system problems that can trigger a check engine light include too much gasoline in the engine because your fuel injectors have cracked and are leaking.

Spark Plug/Plug Wire Problems

The spark plugs and plug wires are responsible for engine detonation. If the spark plugs are worn, which can happen anywhere from 30,000 miles to 100,000 miles, or if they are misfiring because your ECM is malfunctioning, your check engine warning will come on. Broken plug wires or wires that are worn can also trigger this dashboard warning.

Transmission Problems

Finally, the transmission usually isn’t silent if it is having problems. You’ll feel your vehicle struggle to shift gears, or you may find it impossible to shift the gears yourself. You may also hear grinding or the gears may slip into neutral. If a check engine warning light accompanies these systems, you likely have transmission problems.

Call C & C Automotive to schedule a diagnostic check today. We can find out why your check engine warning  came on in Augusta, West Augusta, Martinez, and Aiken County. We’ve got an auto service shop in each city.

Photo by vladru from Getty Images Pro via Canva Pro
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